8 Raunchy and Fun Period Dramas That Won’t Put You to Sleep

8 Raunchy and Fun Period Dramas That Won’t Put You to Sleep
Image credit: Sky Atlantic, Starz, ITV

It’s not only Bridgerton that’s worth a try.

Over the past few years, the period drama genre has experienced a true renaissance on both streaming platforms and broadcast television. Those who have always loved these shows have had the time of their lives getting into the new titles, and those who never paid too much attention to them may find themselves drawn into the obsession.

If you haven't watched many period dramas and want to see some that are fun to watch and feel relatable, check out the list of 8 most beginner-friendly shows below and see what the genre has to offer.

Harlots (2017-2019)

One of the aspects of life that many shows only briefly touch on is the way aristocrats treated the prostitutes they visited. Harlots focuses on them and follows Margaret Wells, a woman who runs a brothel in 18th century London and does everything in her power to ensure a better future for her own daughters.

The show has just the right amount of suspense, intense drama and hot scenes to hit all the sweet spots and keep viewers well entertained.

The Great (2020-2023)

The first thing you need to know about The Great is that although the show is based on the rise to power of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, there's little to no history to it.

The history is altered to fit the satirical narrative, but the chemistry between Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hault as Emperor Peter III is so enchanting, and the humor in the writing is so good, that it's the only thing you'll notice.

The Gilded Age ( 2022-...)

Renewed for another season on HBO, the show focuses on New York society in the late 1800s. Although the stakes are relatively low, the show will win you over with amazing costumes, perfect set design and a brilliant cast.

From Taissa Farmiga, known to TV fans from American Horror Story, to two Broadway stars, Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski, The Gilded Age is a hidden gem among other period dramas and as camp as it gets in the best possible way.

The Buccaneers ( 2023-...)

Based on the unfinished novel of the same name by Edith Wharton, the show tells the story of young ladies sent from America to England to play their games and win their titles. Facing all kinds of difficulties, from abusive men to snobbish families who do not accept them as they are, the young women are forced to fight for their survival.

And yet, to balance out all the struggles the female leads endure, the show always returns to themes of friendship and support.

Victoria (2016-2019)

Starring Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, Victoria's husband, the show follows Victoria's rise to power through all the hardships she encounters along the way.

If you don't mind your shows being a little overdramatic, and you enjoy the fast-paced plot and pretty Bridgerton, Victoria would be a nice addition to your watch list. Besides, given the tendency to bring back the most popular shows, Victoria may get its season 4 sooner or later.

The Tudors (2007-2010)

Even though The Tudors isn’t likely to count as a scandalous show today, given what we all have witnessed in Game of Thrones, back in 2007 it was easily the hottest TV show on television. And it still holds up today.

Set primarily in 16th-century England, the show is based on the reign of King Henry VIII, portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. This 4-season show is a must-watch for everyone getting into period dramas.

Versailles (2015-2018)

Produced by France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Versailles is set in 1667, when the French aristocracy began to lose respect for the monarchy and go so far as to disobey the orders of the crown.

In order to win them over and control them better, the young King Louis XIV decides to move the court from near Paris to his father's hunting lodge near the hamlet of Versailles. Forced to leave their precious lives behind, the nobles begin to plot even worse intrigues behind his back.

Mary & George (2024)

Consisting of only 7 episodes with no possibility of a return, Mary & George is a dynamic, dark and humorous take on the life of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and the intrigues he finds himself in due to the machinations of his mother, Mary Villiers.

Starring Julianne Moore as Mary, Nicholas Galitzine as George, and Tony Curran as King James VI and I, the show is perfect for binge-watching and is actually somewhat close to the reality of what happened to these people.